18 May 2006

Restaurant Starter Kit

PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) have an amazing starter kit for any restaurant which wants to adapt to allow Vegans and vegetarians to eat there. With more and more people giving up animal products restaurants with have to adapt or die as foods replacing meat and other animal products are now estimated as a $2.8 billion industry, according to Mintel International Group Ltd., a research consumer company.

Here is Step 1 to show Restaurateurs how easy this can be:

Adapt the Recipes You Already Use

You can easily adapt your existing menu items to cut fat and cholesterol without sacrificing flavor.

* Use vegetable oil instead of animal fat for frying and sautéing.

* Use vegetable stock or commercially prepared vegetable broth in soups, sauces, rice dishes, and other recipes calling for beef or chicken broth.

* Offer a vegetarian soup daily. They are easily prepared, keep well, and make a satisfying meal when served with bread and a salad.

* Prepare bean or vegetable dishes, such as baked beans, chili, or sautéed vegetables, without meat or meat flavorings. These dishes will be popular with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

* Offer pasta dishes with a meatless pasta sauce and prepare or purchase pasta without eggs.

* Replace cottage or ricotta cheese with crumbled tofu in lasagne or other dishes.

* Replace eggs in baked goods with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of soft tofu, 1/3 cup of applesauce, or 1/3 cup of cooked pumpkin for each egg in your recipe. Half of a small mashed banana can also replace each egg and tastes great in pancakes and muffins. Commercially prepared substitutes such as Ener-G Egg Replacer (a mixture of potato starch, flour, and leavening) can also be used per package instructions. (If a recipe for baked goods calls for just one or two eggs, you can often skip them and add a couple of extra tablespoons of water for each egg eliminated to balance out the moisture content.) For vegetarian loaves or burgers, use mashed potatoes, fine bread crumbs, cooked rice or oatmeal, or tomato paste to bind ingredients. Diced or mashed tofu can replace chopped hard-boiled eggs in some salad and sandwich recipes. Scrambled tofu makes a delicious alternative to scrambled eggs.

* Replace milk with low-fat soymilk or rice milk, cup for cup in any recipe. To replace buttermilk, substitute each cup with 1 cup of soymilk or rice milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar. For yogurt in recipes, replace each cup with 3/4 cup of soymilk or rice milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

* Offer and use vegetable oil-based margarine instead of butter. Vegetable margarine or shortening can replace butter or lard in recipes.

* For fat-conscious patrons, offer hot vegetables without butter or margarine and serve a side of lemon wedges, hot sauce, vinegar, or even fat-free salad dressing instead.

* Offer low-fat or fat-free nondairy coffee creamer, soymilk, or rice milk for customers to use in their coffee.

* Prepare or purchase breads and rolls made without animal fat, eggs, or dairy products, and with little or no added fat.



Chandira said...

Can I add that cheese isn't always a good substitute for vegetarians? For one, it has rennet in it, which is a cow's stomach by product, so technically it isn't vegetarian, and also, I like many people am also only diary intolerant, and am mainly vegetarian for health issues. Cheese isn't an option for me. I'm usually left with an iceberg salad with no dressing, as they're all full of dairy. Bah.

I do eat eggs which most vegatarians don't. There are some good soy cheeses out there. Please add those to the menu! Cheap and easy to find.

Jackie said...

Thanks for your comments chandira. I know a few people who purchase Kosher cheeses as they use vegetable Rennet but if like me, you are Vegan, all dairy is out.